Four Missouri Communities Demonstrate Sustainability
There’s a revolution happening in the middle of the country, outside of urban influence, in the rolling prairies, and nestled amongst fields of corn, wheat, and soybeans. You might be surprised to learn that it is Missouri that is growing to be something of a hotbed for the ecological living movement. Northeast Missouri is home to several intentional communities, all of which strive to model more ecologically sustainable and socially liberating lives, setting an example for a healthier and more sustainable world. Here are four intentional communities in northeast Missouri that are doing just that.
1.) Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage
Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage is a community of over 50 people in Rutledge, Missouri that has been paving the way towards sustainability for over ten years. This rural community is off-the-grid, grows some of its own food, and has a set of ecological covenants that stress the importance of living ecologically in real terms. All power in the village is provided by solar panels and wind turbines, and members of the community grow some of their own food, build their homes out of natural and reclaimed building materials, collect rainwater for drinking and bathing, and share three vehicles for all fifty members.
The energy use of Dancing Rabbit members is a mere 3% of the average American, and it’s estimated that Dancing Rabbit members drive 10% of the average American. Members live cooperatively, and share community responsibilities, and frequently eat together and work together. (Dancing Rabbit is not a commune, however.) All decisions made at Dancing Rabbit are through the use of consensus, in which every individual has a voice in the process, versus the typical “majority rules” of your average democracy. Ultimately, Dancing Rabbit hopes to become a village of 500-1,000 individuals, all living an ecologically harmonious lifestyle.
For more, visit: http://www.dancingrabbit.org
2.) The Possibility Alliance
The Possibility Alliance, formed just three years ago, is a newcomer to northeast Missouri and a radically
daring example of simple living. The community is completely electricity-free and petroleum-free. Members live without the use of any vehicles or power systems. The Possibility Alliance is based on an old Amish homestead, where the six current members grow their own food, raise animals, and host hundreds of visitors of year, without the help of a website. Members bike to town and drive a horse and buggy to the local train station to pick up visitors. They raise goats for milk, chickens for eggs, and horses for transportation and labor, and they have huge organic vegetable gardens that provide them food throughout the year.
The community’s goal is to become a small, self-sufficient community of 30 individuals, with homes built out of natural and local materials. The community is setting the stage for a lifestyle of radical simplicity and also has a significant spiritual element, with regular Quaker meetings and group meditation*. Notably, the Possibility Alliance is the headquarters for the Superheroes bike ride, an amazing annual event in which regular folks dress up as superheroes and hit the road on their bicycles* for a month-long journey, providing service to the public with no agenda.
To contact the Possibility Alliance, write or call them at:
28408 Frontier Lane
La Plata, MO 63549
3.) Red Earth Farms
Neighbors of Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage, Red Earth Farms is a collection of individual homesteads based on 76 acres of beautiful Missouri prairie. The community is home to seven adult members, all with their own individual few acres of land and ecological homesteads. Red Earth Farms’ guiding principle is “love the land; love your neighbors”, and the group highly values self-sufficiency, especially in the area of food. From their website: “We are aiming to generate a high percentage of our own food, as well as shelter, fuel, clothing, tools, and other essentials.”
Current members get their power from solar and wind, and are big proponents of permaculture and simple living technologies.
For more, visit: http://www.redearthfarms.org
4.) Sandhill Farm
Sandhill Farm has been growing food organically since 1974 on 135 acres of land in Rutledge, Missouri. The community, currently composed of six adult members, grows over 80% of their own food, and shares income, meals, labor, and vehicles. Sandhill Farm is income-sharing: all of the members’ finances are pooled together. Community members live very closely with one another and share housing and all of the labor around the farm. Much of life at Sandhill Farm revolves around food. (For a glimpse into community life at Sandhill Farm, check out this video.)
Sandhill is a shining example of community longevity: after being around for over thirty years, the community is a successful model of a simple and cooperative lifestyle, in which “creativity, ecological sustainability, nonviolence, personal freedom, honest communication, consensus decision-making and emotional support” are important core values.
For more, visit: http://www.sandhillfarm.org
Interested in growing some of your own food, like these communities? Check out our selection of eco-gardening supplies at the sustainablog Green Choices store.
*links to the sustainablog Green Choices store